Thursday, January 1, 2009

Home Improvement

The New York Times reported: With the housing market in the doldrums and inflation running at a pace unseen in nearly two decades, consumers are not buying new homes. Instead they are fixing up the ones they have, a trend that is beginning to show up in the financial reports of retailers.

It seems that many people are fixing up their homes during these troubled economic times. Nothing wrong with that. Matter of fact, I would like to do some home repairs myself. The carpet needs to be replaced, I'd like new kitchen cabinets, new counter tops, etc... All of these things are fine and no one would fault me for wanting to fix up my little house. But, all these things are also superficial. The structural part of the house will stay the same.

Aren't New Year's resolutions much the same? We want to lose weight, be more organized, quit a bad habit, any number of resolutions. Think of the resolutions you have made int he past years. Now, before you think I am putting down New Year Resolutions, let me say that I am all for resolutions if it will help you become a better person.

Now, what does home improvement have to do with New Year's resolutions?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NAS) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Doesn't that put things in a different light? We need to do some home improvements on ourselves! I like to think of these as goals instead of resolutions. Statistics on New Year's Resolutions are not encouraging. Most fail within the first week. Too many changes too quickly, I assume. But, if we are to work on our bodies then it needs to be slow and steady. Lest you think I am only talking about our physical bodies, we must also work on our heart, soul, mind, and body.

Mark 12:30-31 (NAS), "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength...You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."

As for my personal goals? Let me take each of the 4 separately.
Body - I want to be more physically fit. I have a handy little pedometer that I keep in my pocket. I will be recording my steps on this blog every day for some type of accountability. My goal is 10,000 steps a day. Let me state that I have had this little pedometer for months and just set it up yesterday! Along with that, our family is committed to eating more healthy. (I know we will struggle with that one!)

Mind - Studies have shown that an active mind will ward off Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's Association recommends to keep your brain active every day:
1. Stay curious and involved — commit to lifelong learning (work, crafts, hobbies, etc...)
2. Read, write, work crossword or other puzzles (Sudoku, word finds, etc....)
3. Attend lectures and plays (I really do need to start doing this with the boys!)
4. Enroll in courses at your local adult education center, community college or other community group (I do this through my work. I just finished a technology class.)
5. Play games (does Uno count? The boys are just learning how to play this game.)
6. Garden (we'll start this in a few months.)
7. Try memory exercises (have lots of opportunities to do this!)

As for me, I will continue to craft. Not only is that good for my mind, but it is therapeutic as well. Before long, we will be able to start our tiny garden. The boys keep me on my toes as we are memorizing scripture verses and prayers.

Soul - this is perhaps the hardest for me. I really truly want to increase my prayer life and Bible study. I really need to restructure my day to incorporate more time for this endeavor. I need to start a prayer journal. I have had one in years past but not recently. On this first day of the new year, perhaps I will once again start that as well. Although I know I am a child of God's, there are times that I feel so very unworthy.

Heart - I need to take a spiritual cardiogram. Has my heart become hardened to certain peoples and their plight? The book of Hebrews warns against this several times. What is hard-heartedness? Merriam-Webster definition states: adjective : lacking in sympathetic understanding. How many times are we hard, cold, indifferent, insensitive, callous, unkind, heartless, merciless, intolerant, uncaring, pitiless, unfeeling, unforgiving, or affectless? And before we answer that we not those things, I would encourage you to examine your own heart. The opposite of hard-heartedness - KINDNESS! So, I will practice kindness, kindness, kindness. It will be hard to do every day in every situation. I will need lots of prayers.

Whew! I certainly did not mean to go on and on. And, if you are still reading, thank you. Let's do some home improvements, shall we?

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I hope you will have a blessed year with lots of love and happiness!


  1. My dear daughter-in-law, I am so encouraged by your blog today. I am wiping tears from my eyes now. You hit all the nails on the head with what you wrote. By the way, YOU are the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman (must have gotten that from your mom). Thanks for sharing your heart. It's a wonderful way to start the New Year. Many blessings to you, Dennis and those beautiful boys.

    I love you all! Grandma Joyce

  2. Susan, that is a wonderful post and a list of excellent resolutions. May God bless you and your family in this coming year. Thank you also for your excellent advice regarding my dilemma.

  3. Happy new year full of wonderful stitching !!! :)

  4. Happy New Year Susan to you and your family.What a great post to start the new year.I love my pocket pedometer.I've had it and used it for about a month now.I am averaging about 4-5,000 steps a day but need 10,000.Guess I need to get back on the stationary bike to make up the difference.It is so hard to get in a lot of walking with the weather we have here.Once Spring arrives I will be outside walking more.

  5. What a wonderful plan for the new year!!


St. Therese

St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore, and tell Him I will love Him each day, more and more.